Wednesday, January 31, 2007

 

Sundance 07: “B” also stands for bad behavior when actor withdraws support for Sundance hit “Waitress”


One of my favorite Sundance gossip stories involves a Canadian friend and colleague involved in the festival’s shortest press interview.
My reporter friend sat down to interview a fellow Canadian, Nathan Fillion, who was at the festival to support his lead role in “Waitress,” an audience-friendly drama about an unhappily married waitress (Keri Russell; pictured above) who experiences a shot at a happier life via a relationship with the new town doctor (Fillion).
Fillion’s publicity work was extra important because the director of “Waitress,” veteran New York actress Adrienne Shelly, was tragically murdered in November. Feeling ill due to her pregnancy, Keri Russell bowed out of many of her press commitments. It was up to Fillion to stand right by Shelly and work at spreading the word on her film. Instead, after recognizing his interviewer’s name, he went on a tirade regarding his earlier film work, the sci-fi adventure “Serenity” and the monster movie “Slither.”
“Now I know why you didn’t introduce yourself,” Fillion snarled at the surprised reporter. “Do you know you’re the only critic who didn’t like “Serenity”?”
Fillion was referring to the critic’s negative “Serenity” review, which ran in his hometown paper in Edmonton, Alberta, in front of his parents, no less.
Any attempts to flip to the topic of “Waitress” was lost when Fillion got up and left. Clearly, his ego took priority over his obligation to Shelly and her movie.
The good news is that Fox Searchlight bought “Waitress” at Sundance and plans to release the film in late 2007. This means Fillion will have another chance at promoting the film and acting right. My Canadian friend would probably be willing to sit down again for a second-try interview. After all, she’s a professional.

Comments:
So you didn't actually see Nathan's actions for yourself?

I hate to see 'gossip' such as this. It just shines a bad light on an exceptionally nice man for no reason. From all I've ever read and seen of him, he's always been unusually kind to fans, reporters, co-workers, etc.
 
I'm not sure how much stock I place in your friend's account of what happened. The guy has a solid reputation as being courteous and professional with members of the media and fans going back more than 10 years to his OLTL days. Even though he's busy the past few weeks shooting and promoting a new Fox series (see drivefans.com for details), he still made it out to Sundance to promote this film, and the internet 'verse is already overflowing with other journalists who found him eager to promote the film.
 
Apparently you and the reviewer of "Serenity" in Nathan's hometown paper have great difficulty conducting professional interviews, and instead pose confrontational questions, and you expect courtesy when previously spitting on a star's talent.

I can say this as I was once a (and may still be yet) a professional journalist who has interviewed many people, and I take pride in putting people at ease and being fair to their obvious talent. The "Serenity" reviewer obviously had other issues.
 
I think that fact that you call this a "gossip story" says it all. If your reporter friend is such a professional, why would she go around telling stories like this? That doesn't seem very professional to me.
 
I wouldn't talk to her either. And I wouldnt' talk to you, you gossiping gossiper.
 
Your friend may be a "professional",but you are a loser.Get a life.

-Kevin-
 
So you're basing all this on a second-hand account?

I hate to sound negative, but having been a Browncoat for a long time, I'm heard nothing but positive remarks about Fillion's treatment of people in public. In fact, I've read his MySpace page and he's even made light of the people that spoofed his name to create a fake MySpace account. To have him walk out of an interview just sounds completely contradictory to his previous behavior.
 
You're about to get creamed, and you deserve it.

By all accounts (except you, Mr. Random Blogger Who Knows Someone Who Heard Something) Nathan Fillion is one of the kindest, most giving actors working today. He is immensely respectful of his many extremely devoted fans, and has done nothing but act with respect and dignity in the promotion of Waitress and in preserving Adrienne Shelly's memory.

I'm assuming you never read any of the comments that Nathan AND his family made after the review was published in interviews with the Edmonton Journal regarding that very same bad review? Shocking to me that he'd be so upset about something in front of a room full of journalists that he had publicly joked about and taken in much good humor.
 
Somehow I really doubt the validity of this "story."
 
First of all, this is all tacky hearsay at best. (You yourself admit it's "gossip".) Here you are making an accusation without any apparent attempt at corroboration or attribution, and without first affording the accused a chance to respond or defend himself. Classy. (Meanwhile, your sidebar trumpets that you're "the winner of numerous journalism awards". Please.)

Secondly, your headline is as misleading as it is inflammatory. Declining to speak to one reporter out of probably hundreds hardly qualifies as "withdrawing support" for the film he's representing - or "bad behavior", for that matter. So not only are you reporting an event that by your own admission hasn't even been corroborated to be true, you're adding insult to injury by grossly mischaracterizing the alleged event. Wow.

Finally, even if this did really happen, it would have _entirely_ been Mr. Fillion's prerogative to choose not to speak to a reporter who had written negatively about his prior work - especially if, as you yourself assert, said reporter went out of their way not to introduce him/herself in an attempt to shield their identity from Mr. Fillion. Come on!

And by the way? I've met Nathan, and know people who've worked with him. He's one of the good guys - an incredibly decent individual (not to mention very talented).

I respect that this is your blog, but would appreciate it if you would approve this comment for posting. Thanks.
 
I've seen him give interviews many times, and he can take alot worse punches than a bad review for Serenity or Slither. ...Especially Slither.

I could definitely see him jokingly prodding the critic for the bad review, but the way you say it makes him seem like a tyrant, which is just unbelievable.
 
"One of my favorite gossip stories.." I'm so glad YOU like the gossip. A lot of US don't appreciate that slanderous crap. So unless said journalist is willing to give her name and state that this did indeed happen, please shut the hell up. Nathan's a sweet guy and I'm not believing it.
 
I only came to read your line BECAUSE it mentioned Nathan Fillion, our captain. And wished I could give you MY evil death stare at the slander you pitched! You seem to be a rather nasty dude yourself...
 
Oh, do shut up. Unless your "journalist" friend is willing to give her name and state for a fact that this did indeed happen, then this is just malicious crap. I've never heard one unkind word spoken about Mr. Fillion. I'm not buying it.
 
I have never seen Mr. Fillion act in such a way, nor have I seen reports of such behavior until today. I doubt he would have acted in any way inappropriate unless provoked. In my opinion, there's two major problems with this story: 1) Your reporter friend didn't identify themselves up front. Guilty conscience perhaps? 2) This is an obvious second hand story and makes me less likely to believe your source.
 
I sincerely doubt it was that flippant and that abrupt. I'd like to throw barbs at your friend, but since I didn't see it, I'm not going to react to hearsay.
 
Now I think that is pretty harsh slander to spread without an ounce of evidential proof. Every account of his meeting fans, and press alike has elated at his personable nature. If he truly did walk out on the interview, then I'd like to know what the reporter said to him in response to his supposed remark about their previous reviews (his comment honestly sounds like a light joke, or sarcastic ribbing). If anything I wager the "reporter" has blown things out of proportion, or in fact caused him to leave through an offensive/defensive remark. Very unprofessional journalistically.
 
I just listened to a nice interview that Nathan did at Sundance. Lasted around 15 minutes, or so, and covered everything from Waitress to Serenity.

All the stuff that he and the Firefly cast just did in December at the Browncoat Backup Bash (for free I might add), tells me that his/their actions speak louder than your words.

I notice that very few of you folks bothered to check this out and give any of them so much as an "Attaboy".

You can go stick your negativity where the Sun doesn't shine, because I've seen plenty of times where he has gone out of his way to treat people kindly.

Dong ma??
 
This is the first inkling in print, anywhere, I've ever read of bad behavior on the part of Nathan Fillion. The fact that your report is secondhand does not increase its credibility.

If all you can come up with is gossip, I have to question why you're setting this down in writing. Perhaps Fillion is not the one who ought to bone up on professionalism.
 
“Now I know why you didn’t introduce yourself,” ...... “Do you know you’re the only critic who didn’t like “Serenity”?”

sounds SO typical of Nathan's humour - taken out of context - to me.
 
Nathans a nice guy. Your friend must be a total ass!
 
I heard that Joss Whedon once beat an old woman to death with her own walker, just for "giving him the damn hairy eye". It's true, a guy I know told me.
 
There are so many things I could say about your post. But why don't you just check out "Whedonesque" and read these sort of comments for yourself?

http://whedonesque.com/comments/12375#more
 
Please stop spreading malicious rumors about one of the world's few, genuinely nice stars.

I suggest you check out this article from EW, which starts off saying, "Why ''Serenity'''s Nathan Fillion is such a nice guy."

http://www.ew.com/ew/article/0,,1111196,00.html
 
Does Nathan really owe your friend an interview? If he decides not to, then fine. That doesn't make him a bad person or unprofessional in any way.

Plus, when you really love your work like Nathan loves Firefly/Serenity, then people can take things personally. That's just how things work. If someone said something negative about a family member of yours, you'd be mad as well. Welcome to the real world.
 
Nice of you to try to shame him with the director being dead, very classy.
 
Hmm. I'm wondering if there's more to this story than we're hearing second-hand. Fillion's reputation for being polite, professional and friendly is pretty solid.
 
Gotta admit, you're way outta line. Nathan Fillion has been super nice to other interviewers, is widely admired and respected by his fans, and even spent his own money to visit and entertain fans at a cancelled science fiction convention in California when he learned those fans were planning to meet at the hotel anyway. You step on Nathan Fillion, and you step on the nicest guy in the business. Ask around. You ALSO step on the scariest, most dedicated fanbase since Bruce Campbell first cocked a shotgun on celluloid at the Evil Dead. Your credentials notwithstanding, I think it's you demonstrating the lack of professionalism, not the other way around. Go have another beer with Tim Roth.
 
well, not having read the review, who knows how badly the reporter treated it? maybe fillion was justified and maybe he wasn't.

that being said, i doubt the power she wields was responsible for it's box office failure, and so why bother being nice to her now? she obviously doesn't know what she's talking about when it comes to reviewing films anyhow. :)

SERENITY FOREVER!
 
I can't believe that Nathan has ever snarled at anyone in his entire life. Nor can I put the words "ego" and "Nathan Fillion" in the same sentence without giggling at the absurdity of it.
 
I think people forget, Fillion is a person. I could care less if he did that because we dont know what really happened. Im still a fan.
 
hm.

well I would say more but EVERY SINGLE person above me pretty much covered it, in short,

gossip = bad
nathan fillion = polite and awesome
you = stupid.

well. there ya are.

try credibility. I find that it helps with people hating me.
 
Fyi guys,

anonymous posting is for weenies.
 
Why am I posting online to defend a movie star I don't even know? It has to do with the fact that said movie star has been unfailingly kind and professional in his dealings with fans and the media, more so than any celebrity I've ever heard of. I have no idea what happened that night, but the fact that this is labeled as gossip, and a secondhand story at best, makes me doubt the credibility and, yes, professionalisim of this report. I'll continue to respect Fillion, who has earned that respect and confidence with the humor, generosity, and honor he's displayed throughout his career.

If you want to talk unprofessional, trying to make this out like an act of disrespect towards Shelley is the epitome of nasty, low blows. Could it possibly be that Fillion walked out, if indeed he did so, because he didn't want her last film and her memory dishonored by someone who was obviously hostile towards him and his work?

I simply cannot believe, given his previous behavior, that Fillion threw an unprovoked snit over a poor review. Please save the slanderous gossip for the ill-behaved likes of Tom Cruise and Lindsay Lohan, and stop acting like a tabloid "reporter" when it comes to someone who has set a solid example throughout his career of how a celebrity should behave.
 
This report is completely biased. Even if this actually did occur, the idea that an actor should be forced to sit and have a chat with a journalist whom he finds offensive is laughable. Dragging Adrienne Shelley's death into the equation was absolutely tasteless.

Denise
 
I think it's kinda crappy you didn't post my first comment which wasn't even hostile or anything.

putz.
 
Dear Mr. Ramos.

I don’t know what the whole story is nor do I care. Nathan does have a reputation for being a nice guy, but he is human and capable of behaving as such. I do feel it’s unfair to judge you and your friend without knowing the whole story. Not all Nathan’s fans go into ‘feeding frenzy’ when something less than positive is posted about him (which is rare). After reading the rants posted, I’m embarrassed to even admit I am a fan.

Patrish
 
I like how the is in fact no evidence to this story (I use the word story) Nice try to try and bash Nathans good nature, but I think we all as his true fans know if he in fact did do this, he had good reason.
 
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